|Two-time SEA Games gold medalist Charly Suarez looks to play in the said meet again despite now having a blossoming professional career. Ivan Saldajeno|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Three years after competing in the Rio Olympics, Charly Suarez decided to test the professional boxing waters by challenging then unbeaten upstart Ernesto Cagampang on Jan. 16 in Cagayan De Oro.
Suarez stunned the residents of Barangay Tablon in the said city after knocking Cagampang out in the said bout.
Two months later, he put the town of Dujali in Davao Del Norte under notice by finishing off Justin Cabarles to become the new Mindanao Professional Boxing Federation lightweight champion.
Then on Saturday night, five months after taking the regional championship, in his first fight back here as a fully-fledged pro, Suarez silenced Philippine Boxing Federation super featherweight champ Virgil Puton with a quick knockout at the 1:41 mark of their non-title bout at the San Andres Sports Complex.
[Related Story: Rio Olympian Suarez KO's PBF champ Puton in non-title bout]
However, despite having an impressive stint right now in the play-for-pay ranks, the 31-year-old Suarez still wants to give the Southeast Asian Games one more try.
"Lord-willing po, makapaglaro po ako ng SEA Games," Suarez, who won the gold in the 2009 and 2011 editions, told Dugout Philippines after defeating Puton. "Open po ako. Kinausap po ako na maging [part ng national team]."
In fact, he bared that he will be back to national team duties very soon.
"[Sa] Sept. 9, punta po ako ng Canada. May laro po ako doon. Philippine team ang dadalhin ko," Suarez further said, pertaining to the Melee Gala that will take place in Winnipeg.
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